Repairing a large hole. - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:07 AM   #1
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Name: Derrick
Trailer: Boler
Posts: 20
Repairing a large hole.

Hey I am in need of some tips on fixing a large hole from a tree on a horse trailer. ( I know it's not a camper but I do own a 70 Boler project.)
Here are some pics.

. Any tips would be great
I'm thinking of making something to back it up as a mold and Lehrer over it hen remove the mold ( makes more sence in my head then in writing)

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:45 AM   #2
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Name: jim
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape19 Prairie Schooner pulled by 2014 Dodge Ram Hemi Sport
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Some members had luck using scrap fiberglass tub enclosures pieces for large holes. Looks like you have aluminum braces so perhaps a piece on top would work. Keep us posted.

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Old 01-14-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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The way I would approach that would be to fit some thin aluminum sheet metal as a mold to form a new fiberglass cap over. I would go with strips, perhaps about 2 inches wide, and maybe wider where that would work, then narrower where you get into the compound curve area.

This doesn't need to be perfect and can just be assembled in-place with ordinary duct tape. Once you get the contours just right, templating as necessary, just fiberglass over the whole thing. There's no need to remove the aluminum either. I would put a layer of roving underneath too extending well into the original fiberglass. That way the aluminum in encapsulated.

With reasonable care, I would think the repair would hardly be noticeable.

Good luck
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:09 AM   #4
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2006 Escape 17 B Raven and a Pearl
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cast mold from one of the other corners

cover with clear packing tape as fiberglass wont stick to that

glass from the inside to begin with then remove the mold and coat on the outside

fair the edges, sand some more, prime and paint
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:03 AM   #5
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Name: Derrick
Trailer: Boler
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I can't use a mold from the other corner I don't think as its oppositeP
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:02 AM   #6
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Repairing that damage looks seriously difficult, for several reasons:
- it's double curvature, so not an easy shape to replicate;
- it passes over that aluminium roof spar, so that severely limits access;
- the top is jointed over the side skin at that horizontal rail.

This means repairing from the inside is all but impossible.

One logical repair is to get a part-moulding of that corner, trim the damaged area to match the repair piece, fix the repair piece in place and bond it to the rest of the roof. The joints will still be less than perfect, particularly where they cross the roof spar and horizontal rail. To do a really good job would require removal of the whole roof, repairing it and refitting it. Sounds a lot of work but at least it would all be doable.

In practice it would probably be cheaper and easier to take the entire roof moulding off, buy a new one and fix that on. That way really is as good as new and is guaranteed to work. Of course if the original manufacturer is a thousand miles away, it's not so easy - but may still be the cheapest way to go.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:02 AM   #7
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
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The double curve really increases the difficulty of the repair. Since making a mold of another corner is out I think I would try another approach. First repair the aluminum support and remove the edge trim. Then clean up and taper the existing fiberglass edges. Get some type of rigid foam maybe florist arrangement foam or a foam that can be cut or carved. Block the foam up in the damaged corner. Then trim the foam to match the contour you want, using a tool like a Sureform file or other type of cutter or sanding material. After you get the shape you like I would drop the foam back down cover it in Saran Wrap or other release material then reinstall. You will also need to cover your rib with a release material before applying your first layer of wetted cloth.
I hope this makes sense to you. I would try this or another suggestion first then if you don't like the result then you can replace the top.
One more note, check to see how the foam reacts to the resin in case they come into contact with each other during the repair.

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Old 01-16-2012, 10:23 AM   #8
Junior Member
Name: Derrick
Trailer: Boler
Posts: 20
Ya I'm going to see if I can find a replacement corner. Other then that inwas thinking running metal pipe to make a mold I will be putting it in my shop tonight so I'll look at it closer
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:00 PM   #9
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Foam on the inside and laminate fiberglass from the outside is a great idea. It does mean that the finished repair can be decent, but not as smooth/glossy as the original, unless you are willing to spend a very long time surfacing the fiberglass.

I'm a fan of packaging tape too, as a release agent for jobs like this, as you can stop the tape where you want.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:57 AM   #10
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Name: john
Trailer: scamp 13
Posts: 1,318
ouch, that stings,
heres how i owuld fix it. you choose our own prefered method.

i would buy some foam insulation board. cut to close size and glue a couple pieces together to make it thick enough to carve with a rasp file into the shape you need to it sits under the existing fiberglass like a mold.
cover it smoothly in aluminum foil so the fiberglass resin doesn't melt it
tape and brace it into place after grinding and sanding the edges of the hole back to firm unbroken material.
then layer in fiberglass matting untill its built back up to where you need it.
grind and sand as close to shape as you can.

then with fiberglass filler smooth over any holes or gouges untill you have a good finish , sand and paint.

dang tree's anyway<_<

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